Electricity and heat for critical infrastructure
The Hermann Josef Hospital (HJK) in Erkelenz is becoming a demonstration project for tomorrow’s climate-friendly energy supply. Together with our partner Hydrogenious, we are coupling new hydrogen technologies – to drive forward the energy transition. The Helmholtz Hydrogen Cluster (HC-H2), based at Forschungszentrum Jülich, is coordinating the project.
About the showcase hydrogen project
The goals of the project at Erkelenz Hospital are clear: a significant reduction in carbon emissions, enabling a more efficient and more affordable energy supply in the long term. Together with our partners, we are looking to demonstrate the innovative combination of two novel hydrogen technologies by the end of 2026. We will examine whether the hydrogen technologies can meet half the hospital’s base load.
The showcase hydrogen project at Erkelenz hospital is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Our pilot application at a glance
Demonstration project for the climate-friendly energy supply of the future by combining the hydrogen technologies LOHC and SOFC.
Area of application
The hospital building as a demonstration project is intended to be a globally visible model for the future energy supply of large buildings.
The project focuses on our Bosch solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system designed to supply electricity and heat. A pilot installation with a performance range of 100 kilowatts will supplement the existing combined heat and power plant at the hospital in Erkelenz as of mid-2023. Even in its first stage, when the system still runs on natural gas, the project will already reduce carbon emissions by 150 metric tons per year. As the project proceeds, we plan to gradually increase the proportion of hydrogen in the gas mixture for the SOFC system – further reducing carbon emissions.
How to combine LOHC and SOFC
In a subsequent expansion stage starting in early 2025, the SOFC system will be supplied with hydrogen that has been chemically bonded to a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC): The hydrogen stored in the LOHC will be released in a dehydrogenation unit, to be installed on-site by our partner Hydrogenious, and then fed into the fuel cell. This LOHC system will be ramped up using heat from the SOFC system, which in the future will also provide the energy needed for the reaction to release the hydrogen from the LOHC. Until then, the system will be heated electrically.
Having a reliable power supply is essential for us here at the hospital.
- SOFC units installed
- kW electrical energy (nominal)
- kW thermal energy
- metric tons of carbon emissions reduced per year in the first project stage
The Bosch SOFC system is currently in the pilot phase. All technical specifications given are development objectives and refer to the beginning of life.